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Frans Riemersma, 01 Dec '15

11 Persona Templates for Starters and Where to Download

Personas help marketers to create better content and customer experiences. Take a five minute crash course and check these 11 remarkable Persona templates out.

44% of the B2B marketers have discovered the power of Personas. Personas help to create better customer experiences in a structured way. 29% of the marketers intend to start using Personas in the coming year. It is easy to drown in the tons of templates out there, so we encourage starting Persona-writers to use one of these remarkable Persona templates to get a jump start. 

Personas are a fictional, generalized representation of your typical customer, based on your customer data. They are useful when “considering the goals, desires, and limitations of brand buyers and users in order to help to guide decisions about a service, product or interaction space such as features, interactions, and visual design of a website”.

Personas help to improve customer experience in many respects, from creating better product experiences to writing better content. Personas help you determine what kind of content you need and in which tone or style to deliver the content.

Persona templates are a good starting point

To get a feeling for whether Personas are useful for your business, start simple: use a Persona template. The amount of Persona templates available is overwhelming. We can subscribe to that, because over the years we have collected a great many Persona templates. This huge amount can have a paralyzing effect and ultimately prevent you from taking advantage of the power of Personas.

To overcome this, we will highlight 11 Persona templates in this article. These templates will give you a good impression of what is out there and which template might serve your purpose best.

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In order to select these helpful templates, we used insights from our earlier research. We found out that the majority of most viewed Persona templates tell you to fill out 7 topics. By completing and fine-tuning these 7 topics your Persona will emerge.

1. Persona goals - concrete objectives.
2. Persona demographics - age, place, role name.
3. Persona pain - frustrations, concerns, barriers, challenges.
4. Persona media & device preference - most used sources or devices.
5. Persona image – photographic impression
6. Persona role & responsibility - reports to, seniority on job.
7. Persona biography - narrative of daily life or past events.

The 11 highlighted Persona templates cover all or most of these topics, except for the ‘wilds cards’. These templates have a radically different and inspiring approach. We included them to complete the picture of the Persona template landscape.

Persona template Quick Reference Guide

Researching Persona templates we got some interesting insights. This is what we found.

Persona templates come in two handy formats: one pagers and multi-pagers.

80% are one pagers. 45% are offered in image format. 30% is in pdf. The rest is in MS Office formats. Across the board the one pagers show a lot of resemblance. We selected the ones that cover most Persona topics. Use the one pager if you want to keep it simple and start fast.

The 20% multi-page Persona templates mainly come in pdf format. The multi-page Persona templates are more varied in approach, compared to the one pagers.
If you intend to take a closer look at Personas and get some high-speed training then opt for multi-page Persona templates.

In our overview we will briefly describe each template, share its source, download link, file format and required registration. We chose 8 Persona templates that cover most of the Persona topics. And we added 3 wild cards. Just because they were so radically different. To inspire you.

Three 1-Page Persona templates

#1. Marketergizmo. This template covers all of the 7 most common Persona topics. Print the image and start right away.
Download in PNG without registration.

#2. Market8. This template also covers all of the 7 most common Persona topics. It comes with a blog post wherein the impact of Buyer Personas on Web Design are described.
Download in JPEG without registration.

#3. Xtensio. This online template covers 6 of the 7 Persona topics. The missing topic is ‘Persona role & responsibility’. You can even manage Personas online, administering all you know about your customers in one place.
Register to use the app for free.

Five Multi Page Persona templates

#4. The Buyer Persona Institute. This template covers all of the Persona topics except for ‘Customer Pain’. Have a look at the example in pdf. What is unique is that they elaborately describe what a successfully implemented Persona template can bring about; what success looks like.
Download in pdf after registration.

#5. Kula partners. This template covers all of the Persona topics but the ‘Customer Image’. But there is nothing that stops you from adding the images. In short, it is a very easy to fill out, straightforward Persona template. Can’t go wrong with this one.
Download in pdf without registration.

#6. Hubspot. This template covers all of the Persona topics but ‘Customer media & device preference and Biography’. Hubspot introduces the concept of Negative Personas, i.e. typical customers you don’t want. The template itself splits the Persona template into 4 sections: who?, what?, why? and how? The additional slides give a very good introduction and description of context.
Download in ppt after registration.

#7. Marketo. This template covers all of Persona topics but ‘Customer media & device preference and Biography’. Marketo maps Personas to the Persona Buying Journey. This enables you to get really delve into the customer experience. The additional slides provide context to understand the journey.
Download in pdf without registration.

#8. Cintell. If you are ready and feel comfortable to take a deep dive into Personas, then read Cintell’s Intelligent Guide to Buyer Personas. According to Cintell the purpose for a B2B Persona is “to serve as a tool that defines and guides the marketing programs developed to engage a specific market segment”.
In order to do so they explain how to design personas as active tools. They explain, for example, how to make use of Personas in your content marketing strategy, how to distinguish between Buyer, User and Customer Personas, how to consider the Buying Committee, and how to use 9 components of Personas.
Download in pdf without registration.

Three Persona template wild cards

#9. Tony Zambito. This template covers all of the Persona topics but the ‘Customer Demographics and Image’. If you are familiar with using the Business Model Generation canvas, then this template is certainly your thing! Tony applied the canvas to plot the Persona topics.
Download in JPEG without registration.

#10. Cowan+. In this blog post, Alexander Cowan constructs Personas in a completely different but interesting way. Pictures say more than a 1,000 words. So his Persona template tells you to add pictures to visualize “a day in a life”. He suggests to focus on human behavior like “think, see, feel and do”. To check the quality of your Persona he uses the VARIED acronym: Vivid, Actionable, Real, Identifiable and Detailed.
Read the guidelines online or see the Slideshare. Both without registration.

#11 Adrian Howard. This may be the wildest of wild cards. It is barely a template; no fields to fill out. Adrian introduces the ‘Lean Persona’ for when you don’t have the time or money to do extensive market research to discover (supposed) truths about customers. Start from scratch, get a team together and focus on (re)evaluating the ‘truthiness’ of that new thing you found out about your customers to build your ‘minimum viable persona’.
View the Slideshare without registration.

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